The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: September 14, 2016 (Page 1 of 3)

Revamping the Student Government

In addition to the beginning of the school year bringing numerous changes in regards to the new dorms, the new package center, and health center, the Student Body Government is also setting new goals and making new changes this year. In the words of Vice-President Tyler Post and President Adedire Fakorede “one of our priorities for this school year is to facilitate more frequent, higher quality interactions between the student body and BCSG in order to establish a stronger bond, more effectively and completely represent the diverse student interests on campus, and promote the best possible student experience.”

Fakorede and Post find it crucial that the there is a clear connection between the Student Government and student body and they will open and facilitate discussions, for they are “planning on hosting several events to facilitate conversation with the student body and increase awareness of the work that we do. Additionally, a BCSG social media presence is in the works.”

This goal has been in the works since last year and it is project that according to Tyler Post aims to “make sure that students are aware that they have a place to share their ideas, concerns, and interests, and that we will be there to listen and do all that we can to make sure that they are heard.”

For those interested in getting involved with the Student Government, “within the next month, elections will be held for all class representative positions. Additionally, in the upcoming weeks the Selections Committee will be seeking applicants for positions on a variety of student-faculty committees covering all areas of life at Bates. We are really looking forward to inviting new members into our ranks and there are many great opportunities for students to get involved so keep your eyes open for notices in Bates Today and around campus!” Tyler Post stated.

 

Frank Ocean finally releases new music (and it was worth the four year wait)

Frank Ocean’s sophomore album, Blonde, dropped the last week of August, which is stellar because:

1) Frank is one of the best artists out there right now, and 2) My hair was starting to turn grey due to stress from waiting. It was a long four years between his two studio albums.

Release dates came and went without new music. Artists who are friends with Frank continued to tease anxiously waiting fans with promises that the album would be worth the wait. All the while, Frank himself remained quiet. Finally, on August 20th of this year, Frank’s latest project became available on Apple Music. Luckily, Blonde did not disappoint. The album perfectly showcases Frank’s smooth, mellow voice. With minimal instrumentation, each song feels intimate, moody and dreamlike. Overall, there are themes of nostalgia, memory and identity.

Again and again, Frank talks about hindsight, and this album is just that: stories that look back on various relationships and memories. Back in 2012, the artist posted a letter on the social media platform Tumblr titled “thank you’s,” in which he detailed his relationship with his first love, who happened to be a man. In a music industry notorious for homophobic lyrics, Frank bravely stepped out. His first studio album, Channel Orange, features the artist singing about love using male pronouns. Blonde is just as poignant.

Frank sends messages about identity, including race, gender and sexuality. The name of the album – Blonde – is spelled with the feminine variation on iTunes, yet the cover art drops the “e” for the masculine version. The cover also includes a shot of Frank covering his face, his hair dyed green. He also sings about his experiences at gay clubs in “Good Guys.” The first track, “Nikes,” has both high- and low-pitched modulation on Frank’s voice, each providing their own stories and perspectives. This song also includes a shout-out to Trayvon Martin.

Frank doesn’t just sing alone. “Pink + White” features a subtle cameo from the queen herself, Beyonce. “Solo (Reprise)” marked a killer appearance by Andre 3000, in which he raps about artists not writing their own music. (subtly hinting towards Drake – although his latest album, Views, is extremely dance-worthy.)

Blonde refuses to fall neatly into one specific genre or aesthetic. Rather, it remains fluid, much like Frank himself, as he said in a 2012 interview, “The same sentiment that I have towards genres of music, I have towards a lot of labels and boxes.” Frank refuses to put himself into a particular category, and the same goes for Blonde. It’s vulnerable, it’s raw and it’s pure Frank Ocean.

Blonde is not only an album you’ll want to play again and again – it’s a statement on the diversities of life, a powerful message in the face of inequalities of today.

Here’s hoping Frank waits less than four years to release more music.

 

BDF: Summer dance at Bates

Every summer, the Bates College campus is overtaken by several camps and academic conferences, as well as the Bates Dance Festival (BDF). The Festival consists of dance and dance-related courses (such as filmmaking and music) during the day and special guest performances and lecture-demonstrations during the evenings. BDF has programs for high school and college-aged dancers alike, and runs for two three-week sessions over the summer.

The Festival has been at Bates for 34 years. Over the years, BDF has grown to be one of the top summer dance festivals in the United States and draws dancers internationally and from universities throughout the U.S. Bates students have the lucky opportunity to attend the Festival with no additional tuition costs or fees; it is a requirement for the dance major to attend the festival at least once, but all majors are invited to join. Many Bates students do participate in the Festival, and this past summer six students participated as interns, dancers and musicians with the Festival.

Riley Hopkins ’18 attended the Festival for his second year. “I really enjoyed my time there last year and knew I wanted that experience again,” said Hopkins, regarding the Festival. Hopkins believes that his summers with the Festival contributed greatly to his dance abilities, and he “credit[s] a huge chunk of [his] dance knowledge to the Festival.”

Claire Sickinger ’19 says she attended the Festival because she “wanted to take full advantage of this amazing, world-class dance program that takes place on our campus.”

Both Sickinger and Hopkins took “DanceFilm and Media,” a course designed for dancers to explore the possibilities film brings to the presentation of dance. Sickinger was excited for this new opportunity, and the course turned out to be her favorite. For Hopkins, “it was a relaxed and low-pressure environment to try something [he’s] never done before.” Both students were able to explore a new medium of appreciating an art form that they hadn’t learned before, and had the option to create a short film to present to the community.

They also both took “Ballet Lab,” a ballet course designed to break down the basics of ballet and reteach students more natural approaches to alignment and balance. Hopkins noted that it made him “much more aware of body alignment, balance, coordination and technique.”

Sickinger also took a course titled “New Works,” meant for artists to workshop their works-in-progress pieces with two professional dancers as instructors to provide feedback. At the end of the Festival, these pieces were performed for the community. Of the experience, Sickinger states that “making a piece to present on stage with only three weeks of rehearsal time was a daunting process but I was happy with the results and plan to expand on the piece now that I have gotten feedback.”

Of the evening performances, both Hopkins and Sickinger agreed that Dorrance Dance’s tap piece stood out the most. “It made me appreciate that type of dance more than I did before,” according to Sickinger. Hopkins described it as “the most entertaining and mind-blowing piece of art [he’s] ever seen.”

Though the Festival is only a few weeks long, dancers and professionals squeeze a lot of instruction and energy into their days. Be sure to take advantage of this incredible experience next summer!

 

Dakota Access Pipeline: Dirty oil and dirty tactics against native peoples

The Obama Administration stepped up to issue a major victory for Native peoples and environmentalists in a joint statement released Friday from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army, reading, “Construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time. We request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.”

This, of course, is in response to the now infamous Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,134-mile-long pipeline costing $3.7 billion intended to carry crude oil from northwestern North Dakota through both South Dakota and Iowa before reaching Illinois. The proposed project led to immediate controversy, as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt construction immediately, citing cultural and environmental concerns. Unfortunately, this was to no avail.

Despite the media blackout during this historic event, hundreds arrived, not as protestors, but as “water protectors,” describing the horrific implications of a burst pipeline jeopardizing the Missouri River, a source of water for nearly 18 million people. The protectors focused particularly on Lake Oahe, the fourth largest reservoir in the United States, and a site at which the Army Corps of Engineers had constructed five dams nearly fifty years ago.  The construction led to a massive relocation of indigenous peoples, destroyed over 90 percent of timber and 75 percent of wildlife on the reservations, and submerged towns that impoverished large populations of the dislocated Dakotas, who are still affected today.

Furthermore, pipelines in North Dakota do not have a great history, despite an oil boom and subsequent extraction in the region credited for the low unemployment rate in the nation as well as a per capita GDP of nearly 30% above national average. Undoubtedly, the effects of discovering shale gas reserves in conjunction with modern methods of hydraulic fracking have contributed to very real economic benefits for many people in the region. But by no means for all of them, and certainly not economically or environmentally sustainable practices.

There exists a disconcerting litany of pipeline bursts in North Dakota alone, from the Dome Pipeline rupturing and burning 1.1 million gallons of gasoline in 2001, to over 11,000 gallons of crude oil in 2008, to the 865,000 gallons of oil covering over seven acres, detected by a farmer in 2013 who smelled oil from a pipeline running under his wheat field, although cleanup efforts are currently still underway, they will not be completed for months after the burst.

These are very real concerns that threaten a public good, supplemented by large corporations waging environmental warfare for short-term profits. Despite the finite, unsustainable, and outright dangerous practices of constructing pipelines carrying dirty crude oil through and near bodies of water, a judge dismissed the injunction presented by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In a move all too familiar to a community of people having their land seized unwillingly, bulldozers cleared through sacred Sioux burial sites. On September 3rd the company hired a private security firm, armed with pepper spray, mace, weapons, and dogs. A peaceful resistance quickly escalated, as false rumors resulted in a local Morton County Sheriff citing rumors of pipe bombs, which actually turned out to be ceremonial peace pipes, a very different instrument for a very different purpose. The sheriff did not respond to further requests for comment. Nevertheless, scores were maced and others were viciously attacked and bitten by aggressive guard dogs, until they were finally driven away after a strong condemnation of these violent tactics.

The President’s joint statement is in no way a definitive or conclusive resolution to an ongoing battle between corporations and environmentalists, or between Native Americans and the federal government. But what this episode revealed was that peaceful demonstration and resilience made a difference. Thousands of Native peoples and allies spoke up, stood their ground, and were victorious to an extent. President Obama has also announced an invitation this fall– a government-to-government consultation– about how federal laws may have to be reformed in cases of constructing national infrastructure and protecting tribal rights and resources, as reported by The Atlantic. One can only hope that with the stern and persistent shutdown of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the current stalemate at the DAPL, and the president’s increasingly progressive attitudes on environmental issues, this fall meeting could be monumental for securing and upholding the rights of people who have for far too often received some of the most deplorable treatment in a country that was originally theirs.

Pack mentality to drive Men’s Cross Country season

Led by captains Joe Doyle ‘17, Michael Horowicz ‘17 and Evan Ferguson-Hull ‘17, the men’s cross country team which currently holds a national rank of 35th, is very excited for this season and is hoping to travel to Louisville, Kentucky and compete at the NCAA division III national championships. Although they lost Allen Sumrall ‘16, who earned All-American honors after his impressive 31st place finish at the NCAA championships in Wisconsin last year, head coach Al Fereshetian is confident in the close spread of his returning runners. Along with the three senior captains, Nick Orlando ‘18, Zach Magin ‘18, Matthew Morris ‘18, Stephan Rowe ‘18, Ben Tonelli ‘18, and Jack Kiely ‘18, will all be very competitive this season. James Jones ‘20 will also have a strong impact on the team this fall. All members of the top ten are within 30-40 seconds of one another.

“I am very excited to see the team come together as one unit,” Fereshetian said. “I know that the training is there and am looking for confidence and development. Every individual has the opportunity to improve and advance because they have worked very hard to get to where they are at and have a lot of respect and commitment to the sport.”

The men’s team in their opening meet were challenged by an intense 6,000 meter course, comprised of steep rolling hills along the Quarry Trails in Waterville, Maine, where where they were defeated by Colby College in their season opener, edged by a score of 61-49.

The meet was split by class years. The juniors and seniors were grouped together and the first years and sophomores competed against each other.

Making an impressive comeback after suffering from a stress fracture for the majority of last year’s season, Nick Orlando ‘17, led the junior/senior Bates men, and finished fifth overall with a time of 20:05. Following in a close pack behind Orlando were captains Evan Ferguson-Hull ‘17, Joe Doyle ‘17, Zach Magin ‘18 and Stephen Rowe ‘18. Magin led the pack with a time of 20:08 with the other three members all within 20 seconds of each other.

James Jones ‘20 won the first year/sophomore race with a time of 20:21 over the course of difficult, hilly terrain. Jones’ classmate Justine Levine ‘20  finished second overall, followed by teammates Ryan Betz ‘19, Gabe Benson ‘20 and Jack McLarnon ‘20 who finished in 5th, 8th, and 10th, respectively.   

“Although the junior-senior race didn’t go quite as we had hoped, we were very excited with what we saw from our first years and sophomores,” Doyle said. “The meet also gave us a great opportunity to preview the NESCAC Championship course well in advance of the meet, which is something we haven’t been able to do in years past.”

The Bobcats will be hosting the Bates Invitational at Pineland Farms, in New Gloucester, Maine next Saturday, September 17th, where the men’s team hopes to work together, using the strengths of all class years, for a well-deserved win.

Students at work: This summer’s art internships

This summer, Bates students took their skills out into the world through work, volunteering and internships. Included in the string of impressive health, government and business internships, Bates students interested in the arts also got a taste of the working world.

Three students shared their experiences over the summer. Kiyona Mizuno ’18, who works as a costume stitcher in the Theater and Dance department, worked this year with the Youth Musical Theater Company in Berkley, California. The company provides training for students in middle school through college in acting, singing and dancing. In addition to costume design, she took on set construction, something that was new to her and naturally had a “steep learning curve.”

Jason Ross ’19, a Chemistry major with a Dance GEC, interned with the Bates Dance Festival as a Technical Production Intern. According to Ross, this was good training for his work stage managing back at Bates.

Nate Stephenson ’18 also worked behind the stage as an apprentice at Williamstown Theater Festival, or WTF (“that’s really their abbreviation,” says Nate). The program was a little different than he expected. “I thought I would have many more performance opportunities that I did,” he says. “I did get a chance to perform, but the program was much more heavily work oriented.”

That being said, Stephenson still felt he benefited creatively from the program. “I feel as though being around so many amazing professional actors really helped charge my creative batteries.” Ross also found a sense of creative expression through lighting design. “Learning how to emphasize certain aspects of physical art was eye-opening,” he says. He specifically mentioned dancer and choreographer Doug Varone, who began his performance at the Bates Dance Festival with just his head illuminated. Mizuno had a slightly different experience. As the assistant to the costume designer, her work was more about the “nitty-gritty logistics” than creative production. She stressed that organizational skills are equally important as creativity.

As for challenges, students had to contend with the immense workload of theater life, in addition to the stress of managing interpersonal work relationships. Stephenson described a grueling schedule; “A typical day might start at 9:30, work you throughout the day with an hour for lunch, ending at seven, but with an overnight shift that would run from midnight to 8 the next morning.”

Ross also experienced the high expectations placed on tech crew. “I don’t want to say you’re like a servant sometimes, but sometimes you are,” he jokes. Ross also learned how to work together with people from different schools, even in a theater where he was most familiar. Mizuno was also challenged working with the other costume design intern, who was less experienced. “She required a lot of hand holding, it was definitely a learning experience,” she says.

Conversely, working with people can also be one of the most enjoyable parts of an internship. “One of the best parts was working with theater people,” Mizuno says. “Everyone is weird in their own way, and really open and accepting.” She also enjoyed working with the kids. “It was nice being a sort of mentor.”

Stephenson also enjoyed working with other actors. “Everyone at WTF is incredibly passionate. I’ve made contacts from across the country and everyone is super willing to talk and give advice from their own experiences.” Ross shared some of the fun had in the little moments, like when he jumped in a tap dancing warm up with Michelle Dorrance. He felt he definitely made valuable contacts as well.

Would they suggest their internships to other students? Ross says, “I would recommend it to students specifically interested in that stuff. You have to be serious and know what you’re doing before you go in, prior experience is required.” Mizuno felt very qualified from her work at Bates and not overwhelmed, but noted that the pre-set program requires tuition. The program provides financial aid and Bates students can also join the Purposeful Work program, which Ross and Mizuno both participated in. “It’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting into with a Williamstown apprenticeship, and so if you’re looking for a place you can spend all summer under the spotlights, it wouldn’t be an appropriate fit,” says Stephenson. “However, if you’re looking to work hard for a truly gratifying cause, get to know artists at the top of their craft, and make lifelong connections with people you’ll be working with for the rest of your life, then Williamstown is the place for you!”

 

Bates hires new Alpine Skiing, Baseball and Golf coaches

The 2016-2017 academic year was kickstarted by a bevy of announcements from Bates’ athletic director Kevin McHugh regarding  the filling of head coaching positions at the college.

The men’s and women’s alpine ski team will be coached this year by Bates alumnus Micaela Holland ‘11, who will be replacing her own ski coach while she was an athlete here, Rogan Connell. Connell had been the Alpine coach at Bates for fifteen years. “Hiring an alum always brings with it the hugely positive fact that the coach knows firsthand what our student-athletes experience from the academic rigor to the nuances of the specific athletic program to the campus culture,” said McHugh in an email.  Holland was a three-time national collegiate ski championship competitor during her collegiate career as a Bobcat, and served as team captain her junior and senior years.

McHugh announced prior to the beginning of classes this year that the baseball team will be coached by Jon Martin, the head coach at Vassar College for the previous ten years.  This move came about in light of former Bates’ former baseball coach Mike Leonard’s move to Middlebury this summer.  “Jon worked for 13 years at an institution very similar to Bates in terms of its academic standing but also in terms of it values – Vassar prizes scholarship, inclusion, diversity and community engagement and Jon and his teams were actively involved in those areas,” said McHugh of Martin preparedness for working at a liberal arts institution like Bates.

The Bates community also mourned the passing of Robert C. Flynn this past summer, a 4 sport coach and long time community member.  Flynn had been the golf coach for nineteen years.  The golf team will now be managed by James Upham, the current assistant nordic ski team coach, as well as golf pros Nick Glicos and Kyle Bourassa from Martindale Country Club in Auburn Maine.

Men’s Soccer pounds Beavers, Nighthawks; loses to Continentals

Under the lights on Garcelon, the men’s soccer team opened their season with a convincing 3-0 win over the University of Maine-Farmington Beavers. Striker Eric Opoku ‘20 enjoyed his first collegiate game, scoring two goals and displaying fantastic foot skills and clinical finishing. Opoku was nervous about his transition from high school to college but was able to step up the plate. “I realized that I have a group of boys (brothers) who believe in my ability and provide me with a platform to always express myself. Knowing the support behind me, I entered into Thursday’s game feeling comfortable and more than ready to play,” Opoku stated. Other key performances were from Peabo Knoth ‘17 who had two assists, and from senior Jack Martell ‘17 who held up the back line and stifled the Beaver offense. The game was the Bobcat’s eighth consecutive non-conference win.

On Saturday, Bates had their first conference game against Hamilton College. The Continentals scored early on in the 4th minute, and Bates could not even the score throughout the remainder of the game. Bates’ keeper Robbie Montanaro had five stops on the day, including some incredible acrobatic saves. The Bobcats had 16 total shots but only five on goal. After the game, captain Luke McNabb ‘17 commented on the team’s mentality, “After a loss, the best mindset to have is learning from the mistakes you make during the loss and applying them for the next game. Once the game is played we move on to the next one. Our only concern is the game at hand.”

The Bobcats put their lost behind them right away, defeating the previously undefeated Newbury Nighthawks 2-1 the next day. The visiting Newbury team scored in the final seconds of a mostly uneventful first half. Bates turned up their attack in the second half, outshooting their opponents 16-5. The relentless effort paid off, and Drew Parsons ‘19 scored his first career goal in the 52nd minute. Less than one minute later, McNabb put the winning goal in the back of the net. Once they had the lead, Bates’ defense shut the door to preserve the victory.

The men’s team takes on University of New England and Tufts, in their first road trips of the season.

New dorms at 55 and 65 Campus Avenue

This year Bates is filled with new and exciting changes. We welcome the class of 2020, whose members come from a whopping 38 states and 30 countries, we study in the new Academic Resource Commons, a revamped study and help center in Ladd, and we embrace the improved health center; now with more comprehensive services and longer hours.

But, perhaps the biggest change of all is the presence of the new dorms at 55 and 65 Campus Avenue, two four-story buildings connected by a common green space, across from Chase Hall. 65 Campus also includes the new locations of the school bookstore and package center.

According to the June 29th project update, following the completion of the concrete floors at 65 Campus and the steel structure of 55 Campus, project coordinators predicted the new dorms would “create a vibrant community, relieve overcrowding, and be a visible and welcoming new presence along Campus Avenue.” This is also part of an effort to organize the campus more logically, with the Academic Quad, Chase Hall, and Dining Commons situated in the middle of campus, while the residences encircle these buildings. True to its name, Campus Avenue now seems more like a major campus entrance.

A Bates sophomore, Emily Bruell, says that although she chose to live in a house in order to have a different experience, upon seeing the new dorms, especially their innovative attempt on combining modernity and comfort, she thinks they would rival the comfort and homey feel that Frye Street houses offer.

Emphasis has clearly been made on fostering dorm communities in these buildings, as opposed to simply creating spaces for students to sleep and house their belongings. Some exciting features include 55 Campus’s modern lounge area on its ground floor along with a kitchen, game room, and fireplace, also located on the same floor. The lounge is warm and bright, with large windows providing ample viewing opportunities. There are plenty of “study areas,” throughout each dorm, filled with comfortable furniture, as well as a common space called “The Treehouse,” on the top floor of 65 Campus which boasts “panoramic views, an exposed ceiling and casual furnishings,” perfect for lounging, socializing, or late night exam cramming.

Lisa Lefeber, a JA living in the new dorms, when asked whether she likes living there, commented “I guess I would say that I love that the new dorms are built to foster communities. Every floor has multiple common spaces where students can hang out and talk, watch TV, or do homework. As a JA, I really appreciate it– I can already see the positive effects on my floor community.”

The new dorms are also very environmentally friendly, one example being the various rain gardens. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, rain gardens absorb water in order to mitigate the risk of storm water runoff, which can carry pollutants, reduce water quality and increase flooding. Water will also be more available to nearby plants as opposed to being uselessly washed away.

Perhaps a new component of the dorms that affects most students on campus is the relocation of the college bookstore and the package center, now referred to as “Post & Print.” Overall, this change has been eagerly anticipated and welcomed as students were seeking a more functional, efficient, and central place to pick up and mail packages.

Gabriella Shpilsky ‘19, expressed that the new locations of the store and package services, are “really spacious and visually pleasing” and that she used to dread having to go to the package center because it felt “stuffy and packed.”

So, next time you are looking for a place to study or hang out, consider spending time at 55 or 65 Campus Avenue. You will not be disappointed.

 

A Cappella ignites the year with annual Puddle Concert

They aren’t your average shower singing, karaoke hobbyists. As a self-proclaimed professional car singer (only whilst driving alone of course), I can confidently say that the a cappella groups on campus never fail to produce incredibly successful concerts full of creativity, tangible dedication and outstanding talent. They did this for the first time in the 2016-17 school year on September 6th for the annual Puddle Concert, closing Orientation Week and kicking off the semester on a high note, like higher than the top of sop. 1’s range.

As a majority of the Bates student body crowded into the amphitheater next to the Puddle, the anticipation was rising. The lights were hot, the mics were ready to go and people were still running into friends they haven’t seen all summer as the concert started.

The Gospelaires immediately took the stage and performed two powerful songs sending their love up above. Their contagious joy and spirit definitely spread to the crowd, creating the perfect atmosphere for the rest of the concert. They were followed by the other five a cappella groups – Merimanders, Crosstones, Deansmen, TakeNote and the Man Ops – all of which brought back some crowd favorites, including “Mercy” by the Crosstones and a mashup of “As Long as You Love Me” and “Wide Awake” by the Merimanders.

As a staple of orientation, the Puddle Concert didn’t require any second thoughts by Allison Berman ’18 who served as the Orientation Coordinator this year. “The concert is a great way for the a capella groups to recruit and show the first years what they are all about, so it wasn’t difficult to corral all of the groups and get them ready to perform. Many of the groups reached out to me before I had even started the planning and really wanted to make sure they were a part of the event.”

Overall, Berman was very pleased with the way the concert turned out. She said, “Everyone was happy to be there and listen to the great music as a momentary escape from the fact that classes started the next day. It was the perfect way to get back on campus and readjust to the community.” She certainly agreed that the energy was contagious.

Maddie McLean ’17, Musical Director for the Crosstones, particularly liked how each grouped really showed their personalities at the concert. This is such an important thing for prospective members to get a glimpse of when they choose what group to be in. She said, “I thought this year everyone definitely brought their A game. Even though groups were smaller, they all still found ways to show their best self.”

Audrey Burns ’17, Musical Director for the Merimanders, agreed with McLean. “I absolutely adored this year’s Puddle Concert. I think all the groups are in an amazing place, and that this is going to be an incredibly strong, positive and exciting year in a cappella.”

After losing the seniors last year, each group is excited to grow and change their sound with the new voices they hope to get at auditions. McLean said, “It’s always hard to have seniors leave and start a new year without those voices.” Nevertheless, she felt the concert was still successful and low-stress.

After losing only one senior last year, the Merimanders felt comfortable at the Puddle Concert since their group remained pretty consistent. Burns said that losing this one senior “meant that we could start off the year in a strong and confident position.”

After receiving a permanent adrenaline rush from the Puddle Concert, each group is excited to see what this year has to offer and they all have several goals along the way. The Crosstones are currently in the process of releasing a new CD for the Back to Bates Weekend.

For the Merimanders, Burns said, “We want this year to be big. We want to consistently turn out new songs featuring intricate and exciting arrangements and feel we’re growing as a group musically. But ultimately we want to continue having fun being together.”

 

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